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Learning Assistant Seminar
Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 04:00pm

"Building a Sustainable Learning Assistant Program"

Abstract: This presentation will introduce a peer educator model called the Learning Assistant (LA) Model. The LA Model seeks to improve STEM education for all undergraduates by providing a mechanism to transform STEM courses into more student-centered learning environments. Such transformations often involve creating environments in which students interact with one another, engage in collaborative problem solving, and articulate and defend their ideas. To accomplish this, undergraduate Learning Assistants are trained to facilitate small-group interaction. I will describe the Physics Learning Assistant program at Texas State University, successful outcomes that have been achieved by LA programs across the US, and what is needed to build and sustain a vibrant and impactful LA program.

Bio: Dr. Eleanor Close is an Associate Professor of Physics and Director of the Physics Learning Assistant Program at Texas State University at San Marcos. Her research focuses on physics identity development, particularly for LAs and future physics teachers. She is also currently supervising student research projects on intersectional identities in physics; metacognitive moves in LA preparation sessions; collaborative mechanistic reasoning; and hierarchical linear modeling of student outcomes in LA-supported introductory physics courses. She is excited about two newly-funded projects that connect her current research expertise to research on faculty teaching practices and professional development.

Location: ECJ 1.202